Competitive Innovations Special: London GT & Invitational Predictions

Next weekend (24th-26th September) features the London GT, which is going to be one of (if not the) biggest 40K events of the year. Hundreds of players are going to duke it out in the main event, but prior to that on the Friday there’s some extra spectacle from the invitational, which is going to feature (among others) yours truly in an eight player showdown with fame, adulation and glory on the line. With that in mind, as part of my preparations I thought it would be good to take a look ahead at the lists from this event, make some predictions as to who I think is going to come out on top, and also call some shots on the main event, where the combination of a new placings method and the sheer size of the tournament has a decent chance of throwing some curveballs into the mix.

Let’s get into it.

The Invitational

The Bracket

Future runs of the Invitational are going to draw from the top-placed players in the UKTC, with seedings decided by placings. That’s pretty new, however, and with COVID disrupting events for much of the year that was off the table, so instead the seeding has been done by public vote. That’s resulted in the following bracket:

I’d obviously like to thank everyone with the faith to keep me from plunging all the way to the bottom, but also shake my fist at and rue everyone who set me up against AdMech round one. That aside, there should be some fantastic games throughout, and we’re going to go through each pairing in round 1 looking at the two lists involved and making a prediction as to who’s going to come out ahead.

Oh, and for the record, the first round is playing the Overrun mission, which factors into some of the predictions here.

Matchup 1: Mani Cheema vs. Mikey Herbert

Mani – Adeptus Mechanicus

Skitarii Rangers. Credit: Rockfish
Skitarii Rangers. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


Lucius Patrol Detachment -4CP (Adeptus Mechanicus) [40 PL, 850pts]
HQ: Techpriest Manipulus [6 PL, 105pts, -1CP] Holy Order Logi, Warlord, Warlord Trait:Luminescent Blessing, Archeotech Specialists: The Solar Flare

HQ: Skitarii Marshall [3 PL, 45pts, -1CP] Mechanicus Locum: Programmed Retreat, Free Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity

TR: Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts, -1CP] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha, Host of the Intermediary: Firepoint Telemetry Cache

TR: Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts, -1CP] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha, Host of the Intermediary: Multi-Tasking Cortex

TR: Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha

FL: Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x4, Command Uplink

Mars Patrol Detachment -2CP (Adeptus Mechanicus) [29 PL, 595pts]
HQ: Skitarii Marshall [3 PL, 45pts]

TR: Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha

FL: Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x2, Heavy Phosphor Blaster x2, Twin Cognis Lascannon, Chaff Launcher

FL: Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x2, Heavy Phosphor Blaster x2, Twin Cognis Lascannon, Chaff Launcher

Mars Patrol Detachment -2CP (Adeptus Mechanicus) [27 PL, 555pts]
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer [3 PL, 55pts]

TR: Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha

FL: Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x2, Heavy Phosphor Blaster x2, Twin Cognis Lascannon, Chaff Launcher

FL: Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x4, Command Uplink

Thoughts

I mean what were you expecting, people not to go hard in an invitational? Right out the gate we’ve got Glasshammer Gaming mastermind Mani on Adeptus Mechanicus, with a particularly nightmarish spin on Mars/Lucius that leans into two of AdMech’s biggest strengths – lethal ranged damage dealing with great reach, and hordes of extremely cost-efficient troops to seize control of the table and scythe down anything that stands in their way in a hail of bullets. I continue to rate Mars/Lucius as the best Ad Mech build out there because combining these Forge Worlds lets the largest number of units from the book perform at peak efficiency. Getting Canticles and a hit re-roll in Mars is an absolute game changer for all the Skitarii vehicles, making them far, far deadlier and also (on demand) much more of a pain to kill. That’s often combined with Ironstriders (especially after the loss of CORE) but here Mani has gone for the spicier option of a trio of Stratoraptors, with a couple of Fusilaves backing them up. That does a couple of things for the list – one, it makes it impossible to hide from its alpha strike (you’re going to get bombed and hit with Cognis las regardless, and two, it means that all the high-value hulls in the list are sporting damage reduction, which is bad news for anyone relying on flat damage 2 or 3 weaponry for their anti-tank.

In order to maintain that uniformity, and drop the value of D2 stuff in particular as low as it will go, the rest of this build is just a carpet of Skitarii Rangers. There’s a mix of Lucius and Mars squads (Lucius for durability and deep strike/redeploy threats, Mars to represent Wrath of Mars on multiple parts of the table), plenty of spicy Warlord traits and buff characters to keep them operational, and the unusual choice of seeding a couple of plasma calivers into each unit. My guess on those is that they’re there as a way to spread slightly more high value shots out in the army without compromising on the very uniform defensive profiles, and also to give the list a backup source of high-quality shooting if the Stratoraptors die early.

This list is (obviously) extremely powerful. Not only are all the units firing on all cylinders, but like a lot of the best AdMech builds it puts two answer-or-die challenges in front of the opponent – to beat it, you need to both have a plan for taking down multiple damage reduction planes quickly and to chew through enough Skitarii to stop yourself losing hard on the primary. There are lists out there that are up to the challenge, but make no mistake – this is a strong spin on one of the game’s best builds, and immediatley looks pretty hot.

Mikey – Iron Hands Successors

Blood Ravens Invictor Warsuit

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Iron Hands) [42 PL, 752pts, 12CP] ++ + Configuration +
*Chapter Selector*: Custom Chapter, Iron Hands Successor, Master Artisans, Whirlwind of Rage

+ HQ +
Lieutenants [4 PL, 75pts] . Lieutenant in Reiver Armour: Target Protocols, The Vox Espiritum, Warlord

+ Troops +
Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant

+ Elites +
Company Veterans [8 PL, 72pts] . Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +
Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts] . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades . Suppressor Sergeant

+ Heavy Support +
Devastator Squad [8 PL, 165pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Devastator Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta

Devastator Squad [8 PL, 165pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Devastator Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta

+ Dedicated Transport +
Drop Pod [4 PL, 70pts]: Storm bolter

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Iron Hands) [63 PL, 1,247pts, -8CP] ++
+ Configuration +

*Chapter Selector*: Custom Chapter, Iron Hands Successor, Master Artisans, Whirlwind of Rage

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +
Techmarine [4 PL, 70pts]: Boltgun, Omnissian power axe, Servo-arm

+ Elites +
Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] . 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [8 PL, 160pts]: Twin ironhail autocannon

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [8 PL, 160pts]: Twin ironhail autocannon

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 175pts, -3CP]: Cyclone missile launcher, Merciless Logic, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Stratagem: March of the Ancients, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 175pts, -1CP]: Cyclone missile launcher, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 157pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Relic blade, Storm shield

+ Heavy Support +
Sicaran Arcus [10 PL, 175pts, -1CP]: Heavy bolter, Hunter-killer missile

++ Total: [105 PL, 4CP, 1,999pts] ++

Thoughts

So I’m going to admit, I saw “Marines” into Mani’s list and thought “welp” but on actually reading the army…

Look, Mani’s build is a nightmare, but if you told me I had to try and take it down with Marines, this build looks pretty much dead on. The Iron Hands supplement has been having a huge renaissance recently, particularly as Successors, and that’s because similar to Mars/Lucius, it allows a whole bunch of units to operate at peak efficiency. The Superdoctrine (and easy ability to switch it back on with either Methodical Firepower or Adaptive Strategy) provides you with the twin benefits of giving you an alpha strike with reach (as you can move and shoot with impunity without needing to worry about a Captain bubble) and providing non-CORE units with vastly easier access to re-rolls than they get anywhere else. It also gives you a bunch of ways to spike your offence and defence as needed (with Mercy is Weakness and Reject the Flesh, Embrace the Machine particular standouts), and rounds things out by letting you build a Character VolCon, spicing up what is already the best Marine unit with untargetability and a Warlord trait.

With Master Artisans as well to further amp up tools like the Invictor, that means this list is utterly, utterly brutal when it shoots – exceptionally lethal when it has the first turn, and able to protect enough of its resources that it’s guaranteed to have at least something going on if it ends up going second. It also shows off another side benefit of running with Hands – your shooting is good enough once you factor in the superdoctrine and stratagem sheet that you can afford to invest part of your chapter tactic in a melee focused trait (usually, as here, Whirlwind of Rage) so that when things do come down to a melee crunch your units overperform there too. The Bladeguard block here is a genuinely nasty threat to try and prise out of the nice, big central Ls that’ll be on the LGT tables, and in tandem with the VanVets lets the army put the boot in when it needs to finish the job.

This list is mean, definitely up there in terms of how vicious you can make a Space Marine list and is a great showcase for the faction (presumably resplendant in the colours of Mikey’s beloved Blood Ravens). How’s it going to do against the AdMech flying circus though? Well…

Prediction

…this is much harder than I expected, honestly, because Mikey’s list honestly does have the tools to take the AdMech out. Unavoidably, given both lists have exceptional shooting that’s got fantastic reach on it, there’s a reasonable amount riding on the first turn. On Dawn of War deployment and with Mani’s list having no Infiltrators or Serberys Raiders, he can’t bubble the planes away from the drop Devastators so they will get a swing, and he’s unlikely to be able to outrange them from the Cyclone launchers either. If it was just a bunch of anti-tank in Mikey’s list then the option of strat reserving a couple of the Stratoraptors to ensure they got the first strike would be there, but with plenty of quality volume shots too that’s high risk, as a swathe is going to be cut through the Skitarii, who are unlikely to all be able to hide. Strat reserve the planes and give the VolCons/Sicaran/Invictors some time operating uncontested and there’s a real chance the planes turn up too late to salvage the situation (especially as they can’t contest the primary).

Now obviously that isn’t all one way, and the AdMech are going to be able to do brutal stuff with the first turn too. The Invictors will get picked up instantly pretty much wherever they hide. and the reach/bombing capabilities of the Fusilaves give at least an option of trying to take down the character VolCon. In addition If a wall of Skitarii use their pre-game move and advance up the board, while the planes sweep into Mikey’s half of the table, there’s also a real risk of the drop-pod Devastators getting fully or partially screened out – even if they can’t cover the entire table, there’s a reasonable chance that after a move the planes can be set up so that incoming Devs can only reach the Fusilaves, much lower value targets in that particular exchange. Just like the Iron Hands going into the horde, if the Stratoraptors get two full turns of operation uncontested, this game is probably done.

With that in mind, though it’s a closer call than you might think, I’d tap Mani to win this, on the ground that either player has a very strong narrative going first, but Mikey’s feels like it has more failure cases (all it would take is one squad of Devs missing a kill on a Stratoraptor and things look dire).

Matchup 2: Nassim Fouchaine vs. Alun Perkins

Nassim – Iron Hands Successors

Credit: Head58

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Iron Hands) [48 PL, 12CP, 810pts] ++
+ Configuration +
**Chapter Selector**: Born Heroes , Custom Chapter, Iron Hands Successor, Whirlwind of Rage

+ HQ +
Lieutenants [5 PL, 90pts] . Primaris Lieutenant: Rites of War, The Vox Espiritum, Warlord
. . Neo-volkite pistol, Master-crafter power sword and Storm Shield: Neo-volkite pistol

+ Troops +
Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +
Company Veterans [8 PL, 75pts] . Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

+ Heavy Support +
Devastator Squad [8 PL, 145pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Devastator Marine Sergeant: 2x Astartes Chainsword
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon

Eliminator Squad [5 PL, 75pts]: Bolt sniper rifle
. Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine
. 2x Eliminators: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

+ Dedicated Transport +
Drop Pod [4 PL, 70pts]: Storm bolter
Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Iron Hands) [66 PL, -7CP, 1,190pts] ++
+ Configuration +
**Chapter Selector**: Born Heroes , Custom Chapter, Iron Hands Successor, Whirlwind of Rage

+ HQ +
Techmarine [4 PL, -1CP, 70pts]: Boltgun, Omnissian power axe, Servo-arm, Stratagem: Hero of the
Chapter, Target Protocols

+ Elites +
Company Veterans [8 PL, 75pts] . Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -3CP, 175pts]: Cyclone missile launcher, Merciless Logic, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Stratagem: March of the Ancients, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 125pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw

+ Heavy Support +
Devastator Squad [8 PL, 145pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Devastator Marine Sergeant: 2x Astartes Chainsword
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon

Eliminator Squad [5 PL, 75pts]: Bolt sniper rifle
. Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine
. 2x Eliminators: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

+ Dedicated Transport +
Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts] ++ Total: [114 PL, 5CP, 2,000pts] ++

Thoughts

Nassim’s list basically needs no introduction at this point, and is another one that makes excellent use of the Iron Hands Supplement. As discussed above, the efficiency boosts from the superdoctrine, traits and stratagems mean you can hit critical mass of shooting capability much more easily than in many other armies, freeing up points and Chapter Tactic slots to shore up other parts of your game plan. In Nassim’s case, he goes hard on the melee Tactics with both Born Heroes and Whirlwind of Rage, and invests plenty of points in dedicated melee and objective units like Vanguard Veterans and Land Speeder Storms. The army can use the shooting tools it does have to reliably defang the opponent’s list out the gate, then ride its exceptionally strong board control and secondary plans to reliable, consistent victories (with a slew of podium finishes to prove it).

Alun – Adeptus Custodes

Adeptus Custodes Venatari Custodians
Adeptus Custodes Venatari Custodians. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [99 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++
+ Configuration [12CP] +
Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +
Open the Vaults [-1CP]: Open the Vaults: 1 Extra Relic [-1CP]

+ HQ [18 PL, 356pts, -2CP] +
Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 178pts, -1CP]: Auric Aquilas, Captain-Commander [-1CP], Indomitable Constitution, Interceptor Lance, Misericordia [3pts], Salvo Launcher, Superior Creation, Warlord

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 178pts, -1CP]: Eagle’s Eye, Interceptor Lance, Lockwarden, Misericordia [3pts], Salvo Launcher, Ten Thousand Heroes [-1CP]

+ Troops [21 PL, 464pts] +
Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 156pts] . Custodian [52pts]: Sentinel Blade [2pts], Storm Shield [5pts] . Custodian [52pts]: Sentinel Blade [2pts], Storm Shield [5pts] . Custodian [52pts]: Sentinel Blade [2pts], Storm Shield [5pts]

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 149pts] . Custodian [52pts]: Sentinel Blade [2pts], Storm Shield [5pts] . Custodian [52pts]: Sentinel Blade [2pts], Storm Shield [5pts] . Custodian [45pts]: Guardian Spear

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts] . Sagittarum Custodian [53pts]: Adrastus Bolt Caliver, Misericordia [3pts] . Sagittarum Custodian [53pts]: Adrastus Bolt Caliver, Misericordia [3pts] . Sagittarum Custodian [53pts]: Adrastus Bolt Caliver, Misericordia [3pts]

+ Elites [18 PL, 355pts, -1CP] +
Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, 170pts, -1CP]: Eternal Penitent [-1CP], Galatus Warblade

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts] . 4x Prosecutor [48pts]: 4x Boltgun, 4x Psyk-Out Grenades
. Sister Superior [12pts]: Boltgun, Psyk-Out Grenades

Vexilus Praetor [6 PL, 125pts]: Castellan Axe [10pts], Vexilla Magnifica [10pts]

+ Fast Attack [28 PL, 530pts] +
Venatari Custodians [16 PL, 275pts] . Venatari Custodian [55pts] . . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler: Kinetic Destroyer, Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian [55pts] . . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler: Kinetic Destroyer, Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian [55pts] . . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler: Kinetic Destroyer, Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian [55pts] . . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler: Kinetic Destroyer, Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian [55pts] . . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler: Kinetic Destroyer, Tarsus Buckler

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts] . Vertus Praetor [4 PL, 85pts]: Interceptor Lance, Salvo Launcher
. Vertus Praetor [4 PL, 85pts]: Interceptor Lance, Salvo Launcher
. Vertus Praetor [4 PL, 85pts]: Interceptor Lance, Salvo Launcher

+ Heavy Support [14 PL, 295pts] +
Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, 295pts]: Arachnus Storm Cannon [15pts], Spiculus Bolt
Launcher
. Telemon Caestus: Twin Plasma Projector
++ Total: [99 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

Thoughts

Another previous Competitive Innovations star, earning his place in the Invitational by winning the London Open, Alun brings his powerful spin on Custodes back for a swing at the Invitational title. Like many of the best lists, it takes a popular core formula (Shadowkeepers Custodes) and makes a few changes to help shore up the weaknesses. Custodes tend to be a bit thinner on board presence than many armies, and run the risk of an opponent crushing one flank then outmaneuvreing them to a comfortable victory. To help deal with that, Alun’s build trades out Trajann for a second Bike Captain and incorporates a unit of Vertus Praetors in place of something like a second Telemon. That adds two additional fast, ObSec threats that can counter charge in the opponent’s turn with Stooping Dive, allowing the list to retain the ability to threaten large parts of the board even when it starts losing materiel. Stack that on top of the formidable, grinding power of a Telemon and shield Custodians, plus the deadly deep strike/speedy threat of the Venatari and you’ve got an army that taps into all the normal Custodes strengths, but can surprise opponents who try and play the rote counter strategy.

Prediction

So this one’s extra tough on some level, because my instinct is saying one thing, but the previous result from these two facing down says another. I’d tap the Iron Hands as being able to do enough damage early on to build a lead, then make a smooth, controlled descent to a victory even with the extra mobility tools that the Custodes have but Nassim and Alun played in the final round of the London Open, and Alun took the game by a single point. Far from conclusive evidence, but certainly an indication that it’s not going to all be one way.

Despite that, I’m going to stick to my guns on the specific ground of the mission being played – Dawn of War and Domination scoring both feel like they favour the Iron Hands plan enough to tip the balance into Nassim’s direction – but I’m ready to be proven wrong here.

Matchup 3: James Ramsey vs. The People’s Champion

Due to a late dropout, a yet-to-be-announced People’s Champion is filling a slot here. I’ll add a prediction to next week’s regular Competitive Innovations if I have time.

James – Black Templars

Credit: SRM

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Black Templars) [106 PL, 9CP, 1,998pts] ++
+ Configuration +
Chapter Selection: Black Templars
+ Stratagems +
Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ No Force Org Slot +
Apothecary [5 PL, -1CP, 110pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Crusader’s Helm

Cenobyte Servitors [1 PL, 18pts] 3x Cenobyte Servitor: 3x Close Combat Weapon

Company Veterans [3 PL, 48pts] Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
Company Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield

+ HQ +
Captain on Bike [8 PL, -1CP, 160pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Master of the Codex, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Aurillian Shroud, Thunder hammer

Chaplain Grimaldus [5 PL, 95pts]: 1. Litany of Divine Protection, 5. Fervent Acclamation, Litany of Hate

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts]: 3. Exhortation of Rage, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Ancient Breviary, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate, Rites of War, Warlord

+ Troops +
Crusader Squad [5 PL, 75pts] 4x Initiate w/ Chainsword: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
Sword Brother: 2x Astartes Chainsword

Crusader Squad [5 PL, 75pts] 4x Initiate w/ Chainsword: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
Sword Brother: 2x Astartes Chainsword

Crusader Squad [5 PL, 75pts] 4x Initiate w/ Chainsword: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
Sword Brother: 2x Astartes Chainsword

+ Elites +
Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Terminator Assault Squad [18 PL, 352pts]: Teleport Homer
Assault Terminator Sergeant
Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
4x Assault Terminator w/THSS: 4x Storm shield, 4x Thunder hammer
4x Assault Terminator w/x2LC: 4x Lightning Claw (Pair)

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 150pts]: Jump Pack
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 150pts]: Jump Pack
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: Jump Pack
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw

+ Dedicated Transport +
Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]

Thoughts

Black Templars doing Black Templar things, leaning about as hard into melee as possible for Marines. Black Templars is a great choice for a place to do that of course, as they get access to a whole host of tools that support the strategy. Being able to bring two double Litany Chaplains (Grimaldus and a Master of Sanctity) gets you access to the best of both the regular Marine options (in particular Canticle of Hate to add mobility and reliability for deep strike charges) and the Black Templars ones, the latter of which let you build a turbo-powered Terminator deathball. Sitting on objectives with an ultra-tough brick of ceramite is cool in its own right, but in Templars the absurd power of Devout Push cranks things to the max. This one-stratagem toolbox lets you effectively do all of Advance/Charge, Fall Back/Charge and (partially) Charging in the opponent’s turn, making it very hard for anyone who wants to hold objectives to avoid getting into a fight with the Templars (which is exactly what they want). Add in Tenacious Assault to keep the opponent where you want them once battle is joined, and the mid board is a good place for the Templars.

Backing that up, the other unique asset the Templars get is unusually good objective units – Cenobyte Servitors are an ultra-cheap objective holding unit that also have an increasingly meta relevant boost to the army’s defences, while getting to take what are essentially full Tactical Marines for 15pts each to fill out the table is a riotous bargain (or I guess in today’s points economy, a basically fair price for what you get). Templars can apply punishing amounts of pressure, this list has a whole bunch of threats, and the mysterious challenger had better watch out.

Prediction

It is a mystery!

Matchup 4: Malik Amin-Rubio vs. Me

Malik – Adeptus Mechanicus

Adeptus Mechanicus - Ironstrider Ballistarii
Adeptus Mechanicus – Ironstrider Ballistarii
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [33 PL, 629pts, 8CP] ++
+ Configuration +
Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius
+ Stratagems +
Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-1CP]: Archeotech Specialist
Stratagem: Artefactotum [-1CP]: Artefactotum
Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]: Host of the Intermediary
Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

+ HQ +
Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 105pts]: Logi, Magnarail lance, Relic: Raiment of the Technomartyr, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

+ Troops +
Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 180pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Multitasking Cortex
. 18x Skitarii Ranger: 18x Galvanic Rifle
. Skitarii Ranger (Plasma caliver): Plasma Caliver

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 180pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 18x Skitarii Ranger: 18x Galvanic Rifle
. Skitarii Ranger (Plasma caliver): Plasma Caliver

+ Elites +
Sicarian Infiltrators [8 PL, 119pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser)
. 6x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 6x Flechette Blaster, 6x Taser Goad

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [70 PL, 1,369pts, -3CP] ++
+ Configuration +
Detachment Command Cost [-3CP] Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ HQ +
Tech-Priest Manipulus [4 PL, 70pts]: Magnarail lance
+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 157pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 18x Skitarii Ranger: 18x Galvanic Rifle

+ Elites +
X-101 [2 PL, 25pts]

+ Fast Attack +
Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Pteraxii Sterylizors [8 PL, 190pts]: Pteraxii Sterylizor Alpha
. 9x Pteraxii Sterylizor: 9x Phosphor torch, 9x Pteraxii Talons

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 117pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 6x Serberys Raider: 6x Cavalry Sabre, 6x Clawed Limbs, 6x Galvanic Carbine

+ Flyer +
Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts]: Chaff Launcher

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts]: Chaff Launcher
++ Total: [103 PL, 1,998pts, 5CP] ++

Thoughts

Malik is sporting another Mars/Lucius build that goes for a bit more of a balanced setup than Mani’s, cutting down on the size of the Skitarii horde and number of planes in favour of a bit more of a toolbox. Offensively it’s still incredibly nasty – two Mars Stratoraptors ensure that the army has a good amount of anti-tank ready to go against an opponent who can hide from the Ironstriders, and anything that’s in the open is going to be rapidly disintegrated. Over on the Skitarii side, sixty bodies is still tough for some lists to deal with, and the ability to unleash either a Lucius teleport strike or Wrath of Mars from a full sized unit is retained. It also frees up plenty of points to spend on other things.

First up, Ironstriders, which represent a trade for some of the planes with positives and negatives. On the plus side, the army has a higher absolute number of lascannon shots than the plane variant, gets more re-roll value from Mars, and has anti-tank it can actually hide, helping it when it’s going second against opposing shooting. The tradeoff is opening itself up to a wide range of opposing weapons – D2 and D3 weaponry is great into Ironstriders, so if they take their shot and the enemy is still alive then a wider range of their guns have something to do. Tradeoffs are also evident in the Skitarii setup – instead of two more big blocks, you’ve got a suite of elite options in Infiltrators, Pteraxii and Serberys Raiders. These provide some very strong mobility and early board control options, and give the list ways to protect itself against some potential counters. As an example, with access to a pre-game move from the Raiders and an Infiltrator unit, it might be possible for this list to ward off a potential melta drop pod strike into the Stratoraptors, really helping against Iron Hands. The Pteraxii, meanwhile, can force the opponent to exercise massive amounts of caution as long as they’re either in Deep Strike or have Booster Thrusted out, as with access to Wrath of Mars they represent a potentially huge damage spike into almost anything.

This list is brutal, and in my opinion the best list here (genuinely, not just getting my excuses in), and the fact that two of the UK’s very best players are turning up with Lucius/Mars does nothing to dissuade me from my opinion that it’s potentially the best single army in the game – I think when built right it does by far the best job of adapting to the considerable nerfs that were levelled on the Ad Mech book, and gives you an incredible toolbox that’s all killer, no filler.

Wings – Aeldari

Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [41 PL, 737pts, -3CP] ++
+ Configuration +
Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots
Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +
Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 135pts]: 0. Smite, 2. Doom, 4. Executioner, Ghosthelm, Psyker (Farseer), Ride the Wind, Rune Armour, Runes of the Farseer, Shuriken Pistol, Twin Shuriken Catapult, Witchblade

+ Heavy Support +
Dark Reapers [5 PL, 106pts]: Inescapable Accuracy
. 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Tempest Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rain of Death

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 96pts]: Inescapable Accuracy
. 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Falcon [8 PL, 130pts]: Explodes (Hover Tank), Hover Tank, Pulse Laser, Starcannon, Transport, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 135pts]: Doomweaver, Explodes (Hover Tank), Hover Tank, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 135pts]: Doomweaver, Explodes (Hover Tank), Hover Tank, Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [54 PL, 980pts, 11CP] ++
+ Configuration +
Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ HQ +
Archon [5 PL, 80pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, Venom Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]: Hatred Eternal, The Executioner’s Demiklaives, Warlord

+ Troops +
Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +
Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack +
Scourges [5 PL, 80pts] . Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Solarite: Plasma Grenades, Shardcarbine

+ Dedicated Transport +
Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Bladevanes, Dark Lance, Kabal
Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: Bladevanes, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Shock Prow
Venom [4 PL, 90pts]: Bladevanes, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon
Venom [4 PL, 90pts]: Bladevanes, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [15 PL, 280pts, -3CP] ++
+ Configuration +
Detachment Command Cost [-2CP] Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +
Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive: Agoniser, Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +
Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 130pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Plasma Grenades, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Plasma Grenades, Shardnet and Impaler

+ Elites +
Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend: Baleblast, Glimmersteel Blade

++ Total: [110 PL, 5CP, 1,997pts] ++

Thoughts

Still on my mixed Aeldari nonsense, running the same build I’ve been taking to events since lockdown ended. There are some changes I’ve been considering, but the way my hobby time has played out recently the first game at the Invitational would probably have ended up being my first game with a new list, and that’s just never a good idea. I’ve got a decent number of reps in with this now and a five-round GT to warm up this weekend, so this is what we’re going with.

At its core the list is working on the same principle as most current mixed Aeldari builds. The list of choices in Craftworlds that are competitive are “Farseers”, “Shining Spears” and “The Heavy Support Slot”, and the faction is disastrously poor at contesting the mid-board. Luckily, Drukhari and Harlequins are both great at that, so mix in a transport and trade threat heavy contingent from one of those and job’s a good ‘un.

The key thing this setup gives you over pure Drukhari is tools to force the flow of the game and deal with hidden targets. Craftworlds artillery is pretty reliable for chipping away at most targets, and can punch up massively if you Doom something, and the extra punch from a unit of Rapid Shot Dark Reapers, who can pop out, blast something, then Fire and Fade either back into their transport or into a ruin, helps you get things done on a key turn. As well as the choices in this list, Shadow Weaver platforms are extremely hot right now, and they’re next on my painting table once I am freed from the horror that is building GHO UK terrain. I do like the Night Spinners mind – I’ve found their ability to switch to being mobile if you need an extra hull to contest the board late game can be extremely useful.

Over in the Drukhari section we’re pretty much aiming for the greatest hits – the ultimate murder Succubus, Warlord Drazhar, Incubi, Trueborn and Bloodbrides. All capable of trading massively upward if allowed to, and just vastly, vastly more cost effective than anything Craftworlds have access to. Add in some aggressively priced transports to get them where they need to be, and you’ve got a list that really works. The Venoms are probably worth a specific mention in the LGT context – I’ve been finding them better than expected for the extra mobility anyway, but they really come into their own on the LGT tables because they’re small enough to hide behind the small non-Obscuring ruins. There’s only really enough deployment zone terrain to hide two Raiders max, and on many maps the terrain that can do that is skewed to one side, so their presence increases the amount of my army I can hide and the flexibility of where I can present threats, both obviously upsides. My current plan for how the list evolves is to swap out one Venom and the Falcon (plus a few scavenged points) for another Raider, two Shadow Weavers and a basic Kabalite unit, but this version has been winning me plenty of games in the last month, and I’m certainly hoping to add some more over the LGT weekend (this is what I’m running in the main event too).

Prediction

…but maybe not this one. Look, I could pretend that I’ve got this all figured out, but my honest assessment is that Malik is going to win. My particular concerns are that I’m quite reliant on D2 and 3 firepower to get things done (so if the Stratoraptors punk out the Trueborn that’s real bad) and that on the particular mission my secondary plans are rough – Malik’s build is of course precision tuned to not really give anything up (including exactly 109 eligible wounds for No Prisoners, don’t think I didn’t count that) and the mission secondary is a bust. To be clear, this isn’t me saying that AdMech are somehow an unfair challenge for Drukhari (clearly not the case), merely that the particular set of tools we’ve both picked swings this in Malik’s direction. In particular, the reach of the Stratoraptors means that the list tweaks I’ve made to let me hide on the board are substantially devalued, and there are also fewer targets for my melee trade tools than in the standard AdMech toolbox lists. I’d be much happier if I’d gone for, say, a double Trueborn loadout instead of the Wych contingent, and ultimately that just highlights an additional strength of what Malik’s built – it devalues popular choices from one of the deadliest metagame threats.

Despite all that, I have of course formulated a strategy, and I think it gives me a shot, but I’m going to need plenty of things to go right to make it work. We’ll see what happens. At least with the dog tags from the treasure chest they’ll be able to identify my lascannon-charred body.

The Rest of the Bracket

Assuming those predictions play out, that gives semi-finals of Mani vs. Nassim and James vs. Malik. For round two, I’m afraid I’m pretty much just calling it AdMech city – just like Mikey’s list Nassim’s can do some great damage out the gate, but his ability to exploit a first turn is a bit lower and on the basis that I called the first pairing, this one has to go to Mani as well. For the other matchup, the complete lack of shooting in the Black Templars list is likely fatal to it, as its main plan for taking down the planes is for Malik to screw up with them hard, and I don’t think he will.

That leaves an AdMech on AdMech final, and though the temptation is to say “whoever gets the first turn” that’s a cop out and there is a basis to decide on. Because of the stronger toolbox and more dispersed threats in Malik’s list, I think he has more chance of pulling off a win if he ends up going second, so on that basis I’m calling the LGT Invitational 2021 for Malik Amin-Rubio, and once again cursing whoevers’ votes were responsible for me facing him round 1.

The Main Event

The Invitational is, of course, only a preliminary to the LGT’s main event, where well over 500 players are going to be duking it our over five rounds to try and secure one of four slots in a final knockout bracket – so who is going to fill those four coveted positions?

Obviously the metagame has some pretty clear top dogs at the moment, but to get into the final bracket you need to not only go undefeated through the main event, but also perform better than potentially 20+ other undefeated players. That asks a distinctly different thing of players aiming for the trophy than even most majors – you can’t just aim to win all your rounds and settle for whichever of first and second you end up with – you have to be planning to win every game hard, crushing your opponent into dust and aiming to score as close to 100pts as possible. For players seriously aiming at winning the LGT, I think there’s a real argument that they should be playing builds that sacrifice some level of consistency for brutality – dropping down to a couple of ~80pt wins may well take you out of contention for the trophy, so play something that goes big or goes home.

With that in mind, while I expect the undefeated bracket to be broadly representative of the top metagame in general, when it comes for playing for top four slots I think there are winners and losers among the normal best armies, and some wildcards that are maybe more likely to sneak a slot than you’d expect. The wildcard factor comes down to the increased pool of players – there are some armies out there that are extremely strong, but prone to faceplanting if they get the wrong matchup on the wrong mission, or whatever. With a pool of 20+ undefeated players to fill, there’s an increased chance of one of those armies never hitting that stumbling block, and if they’ve landed five wins they’re likely to be solid ones.

With all that in mind, I’ve picked two factions each as winners, losers and wildcards for a surprise win.

Winners

  • Adeptus Mechanicus: …specifically Mars/Lucius builds in the vein of what Mani and Malik are sporting and Mars Veteran Cohort builds, which maximise the chance of swiftly eradicating any opponent whose army isn’t up to it. I would give these a nod ahead of the more board control flavoured builds that have recently been popular – those are great, but I don’t think they rack up the blowouts as reliably.
  • Orks: There are multiple Ork builds out there that have proven track records of chaining massive scores through the event – the Blood Axe buggy list that Mani has also been seen sporting and Dan Sammons’ Freebooter build. Both apply extreme pressure immediately and have reliable scoring plans, making them a strong contender for this.

Losers

  • Drukhari: On sheer win rate Drukhari are the game’s best faction, but many lists’ reliance on melee tools to get the massive damage in means they’re quite likely to drop down to a smaller victory at least a few times across an event. If I was bringing pure Drukhari to the LGT and aiming to win, I’d be looking to take one of the more shooting-skewed flavours like double Trueborn, or maybe even going for the big high-rolls of Voidravens, to try and mitigate this.
  • Adepta Sororitas: Like Drukhari, I’m not counting these out entirely, but their reliance on mid-board interaction and shorter-ranged firepower counts against them here, and I’d be especially wary of the quite grindy majority Ebon Chalice builds that are currently popular. Matt Robertson’s Bloody Rose/Argent Shroud list, which can go hyper aggressive when needed, is probably the way to go here.

Wildcards

  • Ultramarines Successors: Specifically, the very shooty Master Artisans builds with lots of Invictors. The ability to Rapid Redeployment the Invictors ensures that these lists often get to kick things off on their terms, and they have a great toolbox for scoring points and winning big.
  • Grey Knights: So, you know how the new book was a bit one-dimensional but there were a small number of very good units that looked like they could anchor an army? Yeah it turns out they can really anchor an army. Builds using a whole bunch of Interceptors, Strikes and Nemesis Dreadknights running as some combination of Rapiers, Swordbearers and Blades of Victory, look like they’re pretty real. I have snuck into the stats motherlode (thanks Dexefiend) to obtain a sneak preview of trends from the next meta analysis, and check out what’s going on here:

That’s quite the rise on both metrics – but regular readers will also note that we haven’t seen Grey Knights taking lots of trophies. For my money, that’s because they’re the exact kind of army that’s prone to running into one bad game and faceplanting, and thus the exact kind of army where the bigger pool of undefeated players gives them a strong chance of contending. I’d probably go for the Blades of Victory version, where the combination of extreme pressure and a great Secondary plan on most missions gives them a real shot.

Wrap Up

That’s it for the LGT until the event itself, and I will of course be back with reports on how things went in a few weeks. Comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com as ever.